Let it Bleed: Blood, Drugs, and Trump’s ImaginNation

“Yeah, we all need someone we can bleed on
Yeah, and if you want it, baby, well you can bleed on me.”

– Mick Jagger/Keith Richards

So this blog is about blood, but these days it seems that to talk about blood constantly involves talking about the Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. This at once very obvious and very odd, but I think there is an actual reason that blood keeps coming up these days, and it has to do both with material blood, blood symbolism,the President’s idea of how drugs and the nation relate, and the Rolling Stones.

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Inaugural Gore: Blood and the Birth of a Presidency?

Today, January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. His inaugural speech offered surprisingly few novel thoughts, instead echoing stump speeches of his campaign. Some of the perhaps grander moments of the speech aimed for a lofty nationalism as the umbrella for a unified US. Politics aside, the bloody images in the speech offer a surprisingly clear vision of how Trump conceives of the nation.

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Bleeding Blue: Police Work and the Bodily Fluid

Charlotte: a woman smearing blood on a police riot shield. (September 21, 2016, photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Charlotte: a woman smearing blood on a police riot shield. (September 21, 2016, photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Elise Greene was charged with assault on a government officer and vandalism, according to a Charlotte NBC station report, for smearing blood on officers. This seems a drastic response to a gesture that protests police violence by materializing the pain caused by this violence in the form of blood. But blood in the world of police officers is anything but a simple matter. Police work and blood are intimately connected, and I want to lay out some major aspects of this connection in order to not only explain the facts behind the police punishment for bleeding on officers, but also the connection between police work and vulnerable populations.

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[Off Topic] Detroit: Beneath the Skin

I beg your indulgence for a post not about blood, but about another body studies topic, skin, and about how our associations with body parts reveal our formative cultural conditioning, even despite ourselves.

In a recent article at The Atlantic, Rebecca Golden writes movingly of her battle with her body weight disability and ponders the implications of surgically losing pounds of skin in Detroit. She considers the city’s roots in the fur trade, the money that came for skins, and the city that seems to have vanished with its factories and finds hope in the thought that losing the skin may just be another thing to get through, just like the collapse of Detroit manufacturing..

From my vantage point, there are two problems with her piece, two blind spots that need addressing, one concerning the present, one the past, that mark the piece as coming from an important personal place, but also from a place that side-steps some crucial problems.

Let’s see what Kid Rock has to do with any of this…(don’t worry, he’s only a by-note)

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Green Blood? Anthropocene, Hemoglobin, and the Politics of Plants

Nobody really knows why our blood is red.
That is a silly statement. Obviously since Swammerdam and van Leeuwenhoek we know that it is red, that red is the reflected spectrum of visible light on the surface structure of the red blood cell or erythrocyte. (Same reason, by the way, why our veins look blue…deoxygenated blood is dark red, oxygenated bright red, neither is ever blue.) Continue reading

First Glance: Blood : A Critique of Christianity by Gil Anidjar

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Blood: A Critique of Christianity

by Gil Anidja.

Columbia University Press, 2014.

ISBN: 9780231167208 0231167202
OCLC Number: 863199863
Description: xvii, 441 pages; 24 cm.

Table of Contents:

Preface: Why I Am Such a Good Christian
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Red Mythology
Part One. The Vampire State
1. Nation (Jesus’ Kin)
2. State (The Vampire State)
3. Capital (Christians and Money)
Part Two. Hematologies
4. Odysseus’ Blood
5. Bleeding and Melancholia
6. Leviathan and the Blood Pump
Conclusion: On the Christian Question (Jesus and Monotheism )
Notes
Index

The third part of Dr. Gil Anidjar‘s quasi-trilogy on the sweeping and radical changes in the theology, politics, and history of Abrahamic religious monotheism that began with The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy (2003) and continued with Semites: Race, Religion, Literature (2008) has arrived with Blood: A Critique of Christianity.

So this is a blood studies review. Which is to say that I greet this valuable contribution to the study of blood first and foremost because of its translation and not because of its contribution to religious studies, though that may be an important one. No, I also do not mean translation in the sense of Anidjar’s wonderful Derrida translations. Rather, Anidjar’s particular contribution lies in the translation that is so often necessary to make true inter- or transdisciplinary work possible. In Blood: A Critique of Christianity, Anidjar discusses and brings together inquiries that run parallel, beckoning other scholars to work on the intersections.

What’s inside?

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